Friday of the Second Week of Lent
(Genesis 37:3-4.12-13a.17b-28a; Matthew 21:33-43.45-46)
Parents of drug addicts sometimes tell the sad story of how they had to lock their doors on their addicted children. After repeated instances of having their household treasures stolen to support a drug habit, they said, “Enough is enough,” and refused their troubled children entry into their homes. In today’s reading from Genesis we hear the story of Joseph’s brothers treating him with even greater disregard than some drug addicts manifest toward their parents.
Not all his brothers conspire to kill Joseph. Rueben, the eldest of the lot, shows some compassion by suggesting that they hold him prisoner while he figures out how to send him home safely. Another brother, Judah, seems to have a similar sentiment, but his suggestion that they sell Joseph to Ishmaelite traders may be read as an attempt to realize a profit while ridding themselves of their nemesis. In sum, the motive of all the brothers, save Rueben, is treachery. They exemplify the dark side of humanity in crying need of renewal.